Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball

Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball

3.5 103
by Bill Madden
     
 

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No owner has changed the landscape of sports more than New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. From the moment he bought the team in 1973 for $10 million, Steinbrenner's monomaniacal pursuit was to restore the most fabled franchise in baseball history to its former glory. Today the New York Yankees are worth more than $1 billion and are once again world

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Overview

No owner has changed the landscape of sports more than New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. From the moment he bought the team in 1973 for $10 million, Steinbrenner's monomaniacal pursuit was to restore the most fabled franchise in baseball history to its former glory. Today the New York Yankees are worth more than $1 billion and are once again world champions.

Award-winning sportswriter Bill Madden traces Steinbrenner from his early days in Cleveland through his years as a shipping magnate, a Nixon fund-raiser, and a champion horse breeder to the fateful moment when he bought the Yankees, even though his father disparaged George's desire to own a professional sports team as a "hobby." Over the next four decades, Steinbrenner's tumultuous reign included his epic battles with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, even beloved Yankee captain Derek Jeter. His ruthless and free-spending tactics made him a lightning rod for controversy but they also paid off: Steinbrenner's Yankees have won seven championships and remain the gold standard in all sports. In the last few years, with his health declining, the Boss ceded control of the team to his sons, but not before lording over the team's historic transition from the House That Ruth Built to the House That George Built.

Throughout his three decades of covering the Yankees, Bill Madden has cultivated hundreds of sources at every level in the organization, from the many managers and front-office personnel Steinbrenner has fired to the bat boys who are ever present in the locker room. All of them have colorful stories about the man with whom they have enjoyed a love-hate relationship, but it is the Boss himself whose voice rises above the rest. And when Steinbrenner decided to give his final print interview, he spoke to Madden to set the record straight on his extraordinary life and career.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Shapiro
…riveting…Reading the book feels like the literary equivalent of passing a traffic accident; it is all but impossible to turn away.
—The New York Times
Sports Illustrated
“Definitive, indispensible.... A vivid and entertaining portrait.”
Kirkus Reviews
Veteran New York Daily News sportswriter Madden (Pride of October: What It Was to Be Young and a Yankee, 2004, etc.) examines George Steinbrenner, irascible owner of the New York Yankees. Venal and vituperative, generous and loyal, no owner dominated both his team and the headlines as Steinbrenner did. When he bought the Yankees for less than $10 million in 1972-the team is now worth more than $1 billion-he said, "I've got a ship company to run. I won't have much time for baseball." However, for the next 30 years he proceeded to micromanage the team in ways no owner ever had or, probably, ever will-from keeping track of players' hair length to ensuring no trash bags were littering Yankee Stadium. Most importantly, riding the wave of free agency, in which players would go to the highest bidder, usually Steinbrenner, he was able to return the Yankees to greatness, winning seven World Series titles between 1977 and 2009. But success came at a price for his employees. Public humiliation was common, and no general manager or manager could know from one day to the next whether or not he would still have a job. Born in 1930, the son of a demanding father he could never please, Steinbrenner had always been drawn to sports, even coaching college football until called to run the family shipping business, which he did with great success. Madden speculates that his bullying manner, though he was capable of great personal kindness, grew from an unrequited desire to impress his father. Whatever the case, the author covers the soap-opera tales of Steinbrenner's relationship with superstar players like Reggie Jackson and Dave Winfield, and with a revolving door of managers, including the troubled Billy Martin, whom Steinbrenner would hire and fire five times. Old age and illness finally removed Steinbrenner from the Yankees' center stage, and with that an era ended. Having covered the Yankees for 30 years, and with access to previously unavailable material, Madden provides a definitive and captivating biography of "The Boss."Author appearances in the Tristate area. Agent: Rob Wilson/Wilson Media

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061992582
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
1,335,881
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

For more than thirty years Bill Madden has covered the Yankees and Major League Baseball for the New York Daily News and has written several books about the Yankees. He lives in New Jersey.

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Steinbrenner: The Last Lion of Baseball 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Steinbrenner should be looking down and thanking Stick Micheal for creating the illusion that made George agreat owner. Yes he always spent money, however most times it was impulsive, excessive and not well thought out. Steinbrenners second suspension from the game, which was lauded by the majority of Yankees fans, gave Stick the opportunity and patience to develop young players, something George never had the stomach for. This allowed the team to groom young talents like Jeter, Rivera, Bernie Williams, Posada and Pettite. Without the suspension the Boss may have sent Jeter and Rivera to another club for a fading, former star. We will never know. But we do know George is viewed more saint than sinner by his clubs fans.
johnbartimole More than 1 year ago
Bill Madden's biography of Steinbrenner is a thorough, impartial, hard-fact, well-researched book that gives great insight into the magical, confusing mind of George Steinbrenner. Not only does Madden paint a painstaking portrait of Steinbrenner, he frames his research with in-depth observations from the people who surrounded Steinbrenner. It's interesting to read this and then, before or after, read the Torre book, to get two different perspectives on what happened between Steinbrenner and Torre during those years. Madden does a good job of explaining much of Steinbrenner's psyche by delving into his early boyhood and his difficult relationship with his father. A great, easy, interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having grown up towards the end of George's era this book gave me great insight into the team i greatly love. Definitely explains the foundation of the yankees organization we see today. Overall great read. I reccomend it to every yankee fan out there who wants to truly understand yankees history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very disappointed this book had to end, the best sports book i ever read!
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